The Palau Bureau of Tourism has stepped up sustainable management of their environment as a pristine tourism product and main driver for Palau’s economy, with the introduction of the Green Boots program and guideline.
The Green Boots program was developed using global principles and guidelines promoting terrestrial tourism best practices in Palau, and supporting healthy livelihoods, culture and the local economy.
The Green Boots Environmentally Friendly Guidelines, launched earlier this year, is a product of a strong partnership between the Bureau of Tourism, the Association of State PAN Coordinators, the SPC Pacific Ridge to Reef Programme and Palau International Waters R2R Project, Babeldaob Eco-Tourism Project with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Palau Visitors Authority, Bureau of Cultural and Historical Preservation, Sam’s Tours and the Belau Tourism Association
Aligning to the International Ecotourism Society, the Palau terrestrial tourism best practices emphasize responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, promoting education and sustaining the well-being of the local people.
National standards ensure that there is environmentally responsible travel to unspoiled natural areas in order to enjoy and appreciate nature, that promotes conservation, has a low negative visitor impact, and provides socio-economic opportunities for local populations.
The Guide is also being considered as a tool that can be used for training and certification.
The Bureau of Tourism is leading efforts to develop the Green Boots curriculum and training guide which will closely resemble Green Fins, a guide for best practices in marine-based tourism. The Ministry of Education will be a key partner for the integration and successful implementation of these tools.
The Guideline was funded by the Global Environment Facility-funded Pacific Community-executed Pacific Ridge to Reef Programme, and implemented by the Palau Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism to improve integrated water, land and coastal management in Palau.